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What Does Success Look Like?

Success looks like:

A child sounding out and reading their first words
A patient getting out of bed for the first time in months
A book that was started
An idea that you believe in and pitched
Trying your hardest even in defeat

Success is a subjective thing.

Don’t let someone else define your own success metrics.


Everyday is an Interview

Interviewing is usually not a fun task. You have anxiety because you are being judged and the interviewer also has anxiety because they are doing the judging.

Once we get past the interview, we take a sigh of relief… “Whew, glad that’s over.”

If we land the job, we go through a process of norming to the new role and we get comfortable over time.

Never forget that everyday in an interview. You are constantly being assessed. You can’t perform well in an interview and then blow it on the job. It takes continual work and effort.

Shine your shoes. Brush your hair. Look good. Feel good. Be good.

Sacks and Fumbles

In professional football, organizations pay elite quarterbacks millions of dollars per year for their performance.

Despite all that money, that quarterback will still make mistakes every single game.

They will fumble the ball. They will be sacked. They will throw an interception.

Does this mean they are not a valuable player?


On the aggregate, they have been determined to be a great player.

But, everyone makes mistakes. It’s just a part of the human condition. We can optimize for them and learn from them, which is exactly what the pros do.

Book Reco: The Great Beanie Baby Bubble, by Zac Bissonnette

You know what they are. I’m talking about Beanie Babies.

These little, bead-filled, high quality, plush toys that created a mania in the mid-1990’s.

I was there and saw it all (almost).

This book is funny and at times shocking. People were obsessed with this product and paid tremendous amounts of money (thousands of dollars for one toy) for what they believed was an investable collectible.

I have a few Beanie Babies from that era myself. Today, you can buy bulk lots of them on eBay for nominal amounts.

This books is about hype and what happens when mania sets into the consumer mentality. I really enjoyed this one and you can get a FREE copy at your local library or purchase one HERE (I always recommend buying used to save money – used hardcovers are $2.42 at the time of this writing).

Leadership is a Team Sport

There’s this concept known as the Peter Principle, where leaders are promoted beyond their competency and have to “fake it till they make it.”

As it turns out, this is a very common phenomenon.

It happens at every level of leadership.

It would be unwise for a leader to pretend they know everything and that all decision-making has to come unilaterally through them. No one knows everything and it’s bad form to appear as such.

The better approach is to empower your people to be leaders themselves. Rely on their experiences and expertise. This is a much better approach that will lead to better morale, performance, and outcomes.

Leadership is a team sport.

The Words You Choose

One of my favorite professors in grad school was Dr. Ellen Black.

She told us that, “The words you choose reflect your soul.”

It’s been years since I sat in her classroom, but I have reflected on that saying many times since.

If we speak softly and kindly, we are illustrating that we have a kind soul.

If we speak harshly with an unkind soul, the contrary is true.

What words do you choose and how do you speak them?

A Test of Endurance

I was at a workshop some years ago and the keynote speaker said a quote that has stuck with me since.

He said, “college is not a matter of intelligence, it is a matter of determination.”

What a powerful statement.

It really puts achievement into perspective. You can do anything you put your mind to, as long as you have the commitment, the endurance, and the persistence to keep going.

That is the real test of life.

All of Life is Sales

I told my students this past week that whether you realize it or not, you are a sales person.

You may not work in sales, but you will need to know something about the “art of selling” in order to help you in life.

Selling goes beyond products and services.

We sell people on ideas.
We sell people on ourselves.
We sell people on movements.

Ask yourself, “what am I selling,” and “is anyone buying it?”

Courage as a Strategy

“Courage is contagious.” – Billy Graham

We’d like to think we all are courageous, but when push comes to shove, it’s just easier to sit back and watch instead of standing up and making something happen.

In business we talk about “managerial courage,” or when a manager does the right and hard things instead of sitting back and hoping it goes away.

We’ve seen numerous cases where someone knew something bad was happening, but they condoned it through inaction.

Courage is contagious. When we stand up, we set an example for others to follow.

It’s hard, but it’s right. In business and in life, it’s a fantastic strategy.

Courage, by Marcin Mikołajczak

Magic and Innovation

I remember showing my grandmother my iPhone shortly before she passed away. She could not believe what she was seeing. I was showing her the thousands of pictures I had on the device, some dating back decades that I had saved to the cloud.

Her exact words were, “this is a treasure.”

There’s a special kind of magic in innovation. When something comes along that is paradigm shifting. It doesn’t have to be a product or service. It can just be an idea.

It’s comfortable to be normal and stay inside the lines.

The real magic happens when you step out, when you try something new, when you challenge a norm, when you innovate.

You have the power. How will you use it?